Are you the proud owner of a new lawn? Correctly cared for, freshly laid turf will swiftly establish and become a beautiful lawn that’s a joy to look at and spend time on. One of the most important factors in determining how well your lawn establishes is the amount of water you give it. Read on to discover everything you need to know about watering your lawn correctly in the critical first few weeks after it’s been laid.
How Often Should I Water New Turf?
Ideally, new turf should be watered twice or even three times a day for the first two weeks or so after it’s been laid. Currently, there are no restrictions on how much water Queensland properties can use, so twice daily watering can be easily achieved. Check here to see if there are any restrictions in place that may affect your ability to water your new turf.
How Much Water Does A New Lawn Need?
An average lawn will require 10l of water/square metre of lawn. If you’re using a hose, the easiest way to work out how long to water for is to time how long it takes to fill a 10l bucket, then multiply that value by the number of square metres of lawn you have. Alternatively, use a programmable irrigation device. The type of soil, weather and aspect all affect the amount of water needed.
Recommended Watering Frequency Depending On Weather
During windy weather, it’s better to water little and often. Wind increases soil evaporation rates, reducing the amount of moisture that reaches the roots of your lawn.
Two waterings a day are usually sufficient in cooler weather. You can also reduce the amount of water delivered during each watering session, as evaporation rates are low.
During warmer weather, aim for several waterings a day. Don’t water during the hottest hours of the day, when evaporation rates are at their highest. It’s vital that turf isn’t allowed to dry out – the grass plants are very fragile and will die quickly if not kept well-watered. We recommend watering at dawn and the last thing at night, as well as completing mid-morning and early evening waterings if you see signs of drying out.
What Happens If I Don't Water My Turf Enough?
If your turf isn’t watered enough, it will die quickly. Watch out for the following signs that could indicate your lawn is too dry:
- Footprints that stay on your lawn, as this indicates the grass is wilting
- Patches of brown grass that suggest dehydration
- Water running off the lawn because the soil is too dry to enable absorption
- Soil pulling away from the perimeter of your lawn
- The screwdriver test (if you can’t drive a screwdriver at least 15cm into the soil, it’s probably too dry)
Use A Nozzle Or Sprinkler
Using a sprinkler gives a more even water distribution. It also ensures delicate grass plants aren’t deluged by a heavy force of water (such as from a hose) that could damage them.
Ask For Customised Advice
When your lawn is laid, ask the lawn professional for watering recommendations – they will base their suggestions on factors such as soil type, type of grass seed, site aspect and the season, providing a tailored, accurate watering schedule that gives your lawn the best chance of thriving.
When Can I Reduce How Often I Water My New Turf?
You can normally reduce watering to once a day after two to three weeks, once your turf is embedded.